This year, we had three of our team members attending the Barcelona Ruby Conference in Spain. Here’s what they found most interesting!

Prelude

So, this was my second time attending the BARUCO, after last year’s great experience (my first big Ruby conference!). This year, the organizers chose to fuse their two conferences, Baruco and FutureJS into a single one-week single-tracked event, called FutureJS. Two days per event, another day for workshops and a hackathon, and after-conference meetups every day.

We were three of the Cookies at the Baruco this year, as Rob and Nicolas were flying down and meeting me in Barcelona. I was really stoked to be able to act as their ‘host’ and show them a bit of the city, as for Nic was his first time in Spain. Also, I wanted to ‘give back’ for the three times they’ve already had me over in Bristol.

Day one

After a dodgy queuing to get the accreditation and goodies, we were set for a full day of conferences at the Axa Auditorium. As usual, ‘Matz’ opened the event. His talk was about what to expect not only from Ruby 3.0 but also from the way we would get there. The main points were: small steps focused on backward compatibility and performance improvements, so the tradeoff to update is great although you don’t intend to use the new features.

Brian Lile‘s talk Running Ruby apps was really engaging and interesting, discussing how important it is to have a good sense (and the tools) of how your applications are running (and logging!) on production.

Eileen Uchitelle‘s talk How to performance was also very interesting as she discussed different profiler tools and techniques that were used when trying to tune up the Rails edge test suite.

Day two

I enjoyed Nell Shamrell’s talk about Surgical Refactoring. It reminded me a lot of the classes during the university, with clean slides with lots of repeated content and all! But it was actually about a subject I’m interested in and I (try to) put into practice every day. Awesome. I would have liked this one to have lasted longer to see the whole process come to fruition.

Ernie Miller‘s talk How to Build a Skyscraper. This talk ran a series of analogies between the Skyscraper’s building era, and today’s modern web development project planning. Well delivered, amusing and extremely relevant, this talk was Nic’s favorite.

Corey Haines and John Cinnamond followed with a pair of talks demonstrating the underlying power and simplicity of the lambda calculus. Corey live-coded a subset of Ruby using only lambda objects (including true and false!), whilst John took a more unique approach by constructing everything from creating classes and instantiating them (including numbers!).

Lightning talks on this second day were really interesting, as some of the speakers introduced some interesting and helpful practices from their everyday work as small gems, such as ruby-warning and haltable.

Conclusion

We didn’t stay for the whole FullStack Fest, but we surely enjoyed our time (and the food) there, and will probably come back next year. I loved acting as a tourist guide for my workmates and the face-to-face time with them in the cool restaurants of Barcelona. It’s really good to have that kind of time together once in a while, and I’m looking forward to joining them again (hopefully) sooner than later.

Picture ‘Sagrada Familia’ by Gerard Vales used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.